The Marlins announced to reporters, including Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, that reliever Anthony Bender will undergo Tommy John surgery. He had been placed on the 15-day injured list earlier this week due to a right elbow strain. He will be the second Marlin to undergo the procedure this year, following Max Meyer.
Bender, 27, was selected by the Royals in the 20th round of the 2016 draft. He was released a few years later, spending a year in the Brewers’ organization before returning to the open market. The Marlins signed him prior to the 2021 season and saw Bender have a tremendous breakout season. Getting selected to the big league club in May, Bender threw 61 1/3 innings for the Marlins last year, registering a 2.79 ERA with a 28.7% strikeout rate, 8.1% walk rate and 49.7% ground ball rate.
Unfortunately, it’s been a series of setbacks for Bender here in 2022. He went on the IL in May due to back stiffness and wasn’t able to return until early August. Less than two weeks later, he landed on the shelf due to the elbow strain that has now led to TJS. He threw 19 1/3 innings this year, but with diminished effectiveness, likely due to those ailments. Due to this surgery, he will miss the remainder of the season and much of 2023 as well, given the usual 12-18 months of rehab involved for such procedures.
Bender came into this season with less than a year of MLB service time, meaning he won’t reach arbitration this offseason. Though he will be facing an extended absence, the Marlins could retain him cheaply during the rehab process, provided they continue to deem him worthy of a roster spot. There’s no injured list during the offseason, meaning he will have to occupy a spot on the 40-man until Spring Training.